Key Lime Pie

Happy 2016! I hope you had a fantastic 2015, and I hope that you have an even better new year. My goals are to cook lots, eat well, run a ton, and post more on my little blog. I want 2016 to be a great, healthy, happy year.

But… in my mind, 2016 doesn’t really start until January 10th. You see, many people associate a new year with a fresh start, which means healthy food. Ha! Not in our house. My sister and I both have early January birthdays, so cake and candy are thrown at us left and right. On our birthdays, we have cake with breakfast, and cake after dinner. It’s nuts, I know. For her after dinner treat, my sister recommended key lime pie, and of course, I jumped on the opportunity to bake.

Key lime pie is unbelievably simple to make. The hardest part is waiting for it to chill. But your patience is rewarded. This pie has a sweet, buttery, graham cracker crust, and a smooth, sweet and tart filling. Oh my gosh.

Not very new years resolution friendly, is it?DSC_0737

Ingredients: 

For Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 whole crackers)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together, then press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

For Filling:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together, then pour into the prepared crust. Bake for 17-20 minutes at 325 degrees. Chill before serving. (I recommend 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the fridge.)

Wow. So easy. The leftover egg whites would make a healthy breakfast after you stuff yourself with this pie.

Its dangerously delicious and easy. You’ve been warned.

*If you hate whacking the life out of graham crackers until they become crumbs, then use a food processor. I got one for my birthday. LIFE CHANGING.

 

Apple Pie

In my opinion, pie is one of the best desserts ever. The sweet filling is perfectly balanced out by the buttery crust. And of course, warm pie is the perfect companion for a blob of vanilla ice cream. I love watching it melt and drip down my pie. Heaven. I just realized that that sentence sounds a bit weird, but whatever. Warm pie with vanilla ice cream is bliss. You really don’t need to wait for fall to enjoy this pie now. You might be thinking: “What pie?” Apple pie!

This whole pie got eaten in about one day. I’m not going to make this sound like the “best pie recipe ever” because it’s probably not. It’s just pie. But that’s the magic of pie. It doesn’t need to be frilly or fancy to be the ultimate dessert.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” -David Mamet

Ingredients: 

Filling

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5-6 large apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (you can use pink lady, honeycrisp, granny smith, pretty much any apple. I used pink lady and granny smith).
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar

Crust  ~~Crust is not as hard to make as you may think! Make sure your butter, shortening, and water are very cold.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Directions: 

1. Make the crust before the filling. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Place the butter and shortening in the flour. Use a pastry cutter (or knives and forks) to cut in the butter and shortening. The fats should be no larger than pea sized. Once these ingredients are combined, add the ice water slowly so you don’t add too much. Stop adding water when the dough forms clumps. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, divide it in half, and refrigerate for two hours.

2. For the filling, pour the lemon juice over the apples and mix gently. Combine the spices, flour, and sugar, then pour over the apples. Mix well to coat every apple. ( Here,  I’ll just say apple 100 more times for you. Apple, apple, apple, apple…)

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Working on my lattice top skills. I swear.

3.Take your chilled pie dough and place it on a floured surface. Roll it out until it it can fit into a 9 inch pie pan. Fill your crust with apples; it may seem very full, but that’s fine.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

5. Make a lattice topping, or not. For the lattice top, I strongly recommend you browse another place for directions on how to make one because mine are downright hideous. For a non-lattice top, roll out your dough, then cut out a small design on the top. (If it is sealed up, there will be an explosion.) Place your dough on top and pinch the edges shut. Make it pretty if you want, just don’t ask me for advice.

6. Let the pie bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes.

7. Let the pie cool for about 3-4 hours. Then cut it up and eat a big slice with a scoop of ice cream. It will cure sadness and stress and loneliness, if you enjoy the company of good, homemade apple pie.

Many, many thanks to Sally, from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I followed her recipe for the crust, but changed some ingredients in the filling. If you haven’t seen her blog, visit it. Good food, my friends. Here’s the link for the recipe I piggybacked: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/07/04/salted-caramel-apple-pie/

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If you look in the right hand corner of this picture, you can see the faint outline of a fork. That’s my uncle, going for slice #2.